Silicon Valley Lost, And Found


Silicon Valley is a place that is just as much about people reinventing themselves as it is about people reinventing industries.

As a new year turns, it’s time to go through that silly (but actually necessary) exercise of pausing to reflect. In a world of endless e-mail and distractions, it’s hard to remember where we came from, or where we are collectively going. For better and worse, Silicon Valley suffers from a perpetual loss of memory.

I have three simple stories about reinvention, that hopefully present a historical arc of this place. They belong to my family. For three generations, we have come here — before the orchards were cut down for silicon chip factories, before the chip makers left for Asia, before the dot-com era transformed warehouses into startup offices and before drones and Bitcoin.

1930s-1960s: Hard Sciences

Even though the “Silicon Valley” moniker only came into existence in…

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